An Open Letter to Tribe Fans
May 20, 2013
Dear Indians Fan,
Hey our team is in first place! I know what you are thinking, “We’ve done this the past two years and have fallen flat on our faces. It is just going to happen again. I’ll wait until August and September to see if they can keep it up.” Well, what if I could convince you that this isn’t a mirage and that the team will stay this competitive for the rest of the year. Would you catch the Indian Fever now and get down to the ballpark for this series with the Motor City Kitties? I’ll do my best!
The biggest strength of this club is the offense. “What?!? I thought our bullpen was our best asset!” I love our bullpen, but after watching 40 games I’m on board with this offense. Yes, they strike out a lot, but they also walk a ton. They are top ten in both categories. (10th in Ks and 8th in walks). They are #1 in OPS, 7th in AVG, and 2nd in HR. Why the offensive explosion? The lineup is full of guys who have been there and done that. In the past we were always hoping that guys would live up to their potential. This group has a track record, we know what to expect from them and they have expectations for themselves. Instead of the pressure of trying to make a name for themselves, they just go out and play the game. Also, the lineup is versatile. It has more interchangeable parts than this guy. Michael Brantley has hit just about everywhere in the lineup. Aviles has played all over the diamond. While Giambi is hitting .188 he has 12 RBI in 48 AB. Swisher was brought in to play first and filled in out in right field when Bourn went down. They have dealt with injuries beautifully and have continued to build continuity.
The question mark is and always has been starting pitching. It seems to me that this coaching staff has done outstanding work building this group up and working out some of the kinks. Ubaldo has been very good for the past 3 weeks. He has stayed in control of his mechanics and is PITCHING instead of throwing. (The rose must be in the front.) Masterson looks, sounds and has been pitching like a true ace. McAllister is developing a pitch (split/change) at the Major League level and has looked darn good doing it. Kluber struggled against the Tigers but so do most fifth starters. Kazmir other than his hiccup today is doing the job we want him to do. Now the biggest question is “Will this hold up?” I say it does. The bullpen has struggled lately but I will still take it against anyone. Best part is, it hasn’t cost us a game yet.
“Thanks for the info but you still haven’t sold me on why I should believe.” Ok I’ve been holding this card until the end but it looks like you are forcing my hand. Terry Francona. That’s it. He is a World Series champion manager. He has been there, done that and know how to get it done. He does a lot of little things behind the scenes that make the difference in this ball club. He refuses to look ahead. He won’t even throw the media a quote to put in their paper about the upcoming stretch of baseball. He gets his staff to the ballpark early on a getaway day in Philly to set the tone. He never panicked early on when Kipnis and Cabrera were struggling. He hasn’t overreacted to big days from the bench guys and rode their hot streak into the ground. He hasn’t run the same reliever out there no matter what the situation. He has shown trust in his players and I think after this stretch it is time to trust our team!
There are a ton of reasons to stay home. This, cheaper food and also this are great reasons. But come on, for one night get down to the park, stand and cheer for your team and be a part of the ride. Enjoy the good times while there here and get ready for an Indian Summer!